Fundraising during crisis: keep asking, keep thanking, and be relevant.

Understandably, you are now extra concerned about your donors and your fundraising. Firstly, you want to know: are they okay? And secondly, will they continue to support you?

What is true in normal times is true now: keep recruiting and stick to the fundraising principles that work. But there are also important values in your fundraising that are even more important now. If you haven’t already built these values into your fundraising, then you really need to do it now. Your donors will love you even more for it.

Below are 3 reasons why you should cherish donors now more than ever.

Contact with your donors is now more important than ever

In times of crisis, your best donors are always willing to help. For that reason alone, it is important to show them that you are grateful now. And let them know how much what they do means in making the world a better place.

As people now have to keep distance from one another, many feel lonelier more often. Especially our target audience. A listening ear is more important than ever. By having campaigns where you ask your donors how they are doing, you are there for the people who have always been there for you. Send an email or a card, give them a call. Ask how they are doing. Now is the time. Your donors will love you even more!

Moreover, donors who are unable to donate now are happy to hear that you care about them and they will have a lasting good memory of you. That is true donor care.

Tim (manager Socialcall): “We are now adding something extra to our telephone conversations with donors: attention. More than we always did. This means: a listening ear and a lot of empathy. And that leads to warm conversations and large donations.”

Donating gives donors the feeling they are part of the solution

Your donors still support your organisation’s mission. Circumstances may have changed, but their passion for your mission has not suddenly vanished. It is how they live their lives. That does not change overnight.

The big difference is that you now have to place your fundraising in the context of the coronavirus crisis. Donors now want to feel connected to others, support each other, and they are concerned about the vulnerable. Many people feel helpless and want to do something. By donating they get the feeling that they are part of the solution. That is perhaps the most important value that you need to pick up on in your fundraising plans right now.

So much is going on now that you need to get to the point quickly. This is always important, but now more than ever. Therefore, answer these questions at the start of your letter or email: Why are you writing to me today? Why is this important to me? What can I do? And how does this help to make the world a better place, especially now?

Donors want to be given the chance to donate

We know it from the past and we see it again in the first results from our customers: people keep on giving.

Of course there are people who will not be able to donate. But our advice is to at least leave the choice with your donor. So keep asking and give your donors the chance to make the decision whether or not to give.

In turbulent times, donating gives people a sense of control. That works powerfully. We must not forget that.
Finally, stick to your fundraising plans. Keep asking, keep thanking, and be relevant.

And take care of yourself.

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